PATROL BASE STEELERS, Iraq (Oct. 18, 2006) – Marines of I Company, 3rd Battalion, 2nd Marine Regiment used combined arms to muscle over the enemy when they were attacked by insurgent fire here Oct. 20.

The said the operation included suppressive fire from a rooftop here, a ground assault by Marines in the nearby city and an air attack on an insurgent stronghold.

"It was the wrong time for them," said Lance Cpl. Adam M. Jahnke, a 21-year-old TOW gunner with I Company, from Charlotte , N.C.

Patrol Base

It was quiet, too quiet. That’s when the Marines started received fire from insurgents from across a river near the post here.

Slug and shells cut and sailed through the air, nailing the patrol base structure.

"It sounded like popcorn popping," said Lance Cpl. Matthew J. Paesani, a team leader with I Company.

The 20-year-old from Vandalia , Ohio , wasn’t intimidated by the bullets, though. He and other Marines just readied their weapons. Marines said they’re always ready no matter what they were doing. Some Marines were resting.

"I was in the courtyard playing blackjack, and I heard a round whiz over our heads," said Lance Cpl. John A. Stephenson, a machine gunner with I Company.

Stephenson ran and grabbed his M-240G machine gun to answer back.


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